6 December 2023
Mick Cummins, the Melbourne based former social worker and screenwriter, who won the unpublished manuscript award in the 2023 Victorian Premiers Literary Awards, has had his debut work, So Close to Home, published by Affirm Press.
The manuscript was originally titled One Divine Night. Cummins said a number of publishers contacted him after winning the unpublished manuscript prize earlier this year.
9 October 2023
Are we at peak Wes Anderson yet? With Asteroid City still showing in some cinemas, maybe some film-goers would welcome a break from the American filmmaker. If that’s not you though, then check out The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, trailer, a short film made by Anderson, based on the 1977 book of the same name, written by Roald Dahl.
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar tells of a man, Henry Sugar, portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, who learns meditation techniques that let him see through things. Things such as playing cards for instance, something that could be advantageous at say a casino. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar had a limited theatrical run in September, but can be streamed on Netflix.
9 October 2023
Regulars will have noticed the slowdown in posting at disassociated recently. It’s a tad busy at the day job, but more excitingly I’ve also been working on a large (think novel size) writing project in recent weeks. It’s the same one I’ve been chipping away at for years mind you, but something I’m looking at again. Busy times, but I’ll do my best to keep things ticking over here.
6 October 2023
American climate scientist Zeke Hausfather has described global temperatures in September 2023 as gobsmackingly bananas.
This month was, in my professional opinion as a climate scientist — absolutely gobsmackingly bananas. JRA-55 beat the prior monthly record by over 0.5C, and was around 1.8C warmer than preindustrial levels.
See also the daily temperature anomalies heatmap for 2023, where September, to use Hausfather’s words again, “stands out like a sore thumb.”
6 October 2023
Fosse’s work spans over seventy novels, poems, children’s books, essays and theatre plays, which have been translated to over fifty languages. Fosse is one of the most played contemporary playwrights on earth, having being set up on over a thousand stages worldwide. His minimalist and deeply introspective plays, with language often bordering on lyric prose and poetry, have been noted to represent a modern continuation of the dramatic tradition established by Henrik Ibsen in the 19th century. Fosses work has often been placed within the tradition of post-dramatic theatre.
28 September 2023
Book cover of Incredible Doom Vol 1, created by Matthew Bogart and Jesse Holden.
Incredible Doom is a serialised comic strip about two American teenage proto-bloggers, Dougie and Anna, in 1999, by Matthew Bogart and Jesse Holden. If you were on the web in 1999, as I was, this could be awesome.
And while I don’t know about crowdsourcing blog ideas at a drive through, Dougie and Anna could’ve made worse choices. Maybe if I write a novel about my early days online, I’ll tell the story. Otherwise Incredible Doom strikes me as being a gritty depiction of blogging in the late nineteen-nineties.
The book cover above, for Incredible Doom Vol. 1, by the way, is not directly related to the comic strip/graphic novel. This is a different story, featuring other characters. But it still sounds intriguing:
Allison is drowning under the weight of her manipulative stage magician father. When he brings home the family’s first computer, she escapes into a thrilling new world where she meetings Samir, a like-minded new online friend who has just agreed to run away from home with her.
After moving to a new town and leaving all of his friends behind, Richard receives a mysterious note in his locker with instructions on how to connect to “Evol BBS,” a dial-in bulletin board system, and meets a fierce punk named Tina who comes into his life and shakes his entire worldview loose.
A dial-in bulletin board system called Evol BBS? You can’t get any better than that.
28 September 2023
The recent long running strike by members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) in the United States, has ended. But the settlement secured by the WGA not only means fairer pay and conditions for screenwriters, it is also seen as a victory over Generative AI technologies, which were being used as a form of leverage against the striking writers.
At a moment when the prospect of executives and managers using software automation to undermine work in professions everywhere loomed large, the strike became something of a proxy battle of humans vs. AI. It was a battle that most of the public was eager to see the writers win.
28 September 2023
The epidemic in question is not Covid-19, though the lockdowns triggered by the pandemic have aggravated another malady: loneliness.
The pandemic exacerbated social isolation, and we’re still not back to pre-pandemic levels. Being alone isn’t necessarily the same as being lonely. But according to a meta-analysis of studies, more people have reported feeling lonely every year since 1976. In short, there really is a loneliness epidemic.
This is case study, Chang looks at the profiles of seventy-two fictitious persons, one of whom is probably similar to you. But look at the profiles of the people who differ from you. Some people are truly living in isolation, and their only interactions — for want of a better word — with others in the course of a day may only be a visit to the supermarket.
I know a number of these people will be introverts, and possibly not so bothered by social isolation, but think of those who are not. This cannot be easy on them.
27 September 2023
The shortlists for the 2023 ARA Historical Novel Prize were announced earlier today. The award is presented in two categories, Adult, and Children and Young Adult. The three finalists in each category are as follows:
Children and Young Adult
- Running with Ivan by Suzanne Leal
- The Bookseller’s Apprentice by Amelia Mellor
- Waiting for the Storks by Katrina Nannestad
Presented in association with the ARA Group, the ARA Historical Novel Prize, which is awarded annually, recognises excellence in historical fiction writing by Australian and New Zealand authors. The winners of both award categories will be named on Thursday 19 October 2023.
This year’s shortlist also marks the second year in a row that Katrina Nannestad has featured on the shortlists. Nannestad went on to win the Children and Young Adult category in 2022 with her book Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief. Will it be two a row for her this year?
26 September 2023
Stefanie Koens has been named winner of the 2023 Banjo Prize for unpublished Australian fiction, with her manuscript titled Islands of Secrets, a work of historic fiction that spans several decades:
Shortly before Christmas in 2018, schoolteacher Tess McCarthy flies to Western Australia’s remote Abrolhos Islands in search of answers — both to the infamous Batavia shipwreck and her personal family crises. In 1628, Saskia, a young Dutchwoman, boards Batavia with her family, bound for a new life in the East Indies — only for her world to first collide with Aris Jansz, the ship’s reluctant under surgeon. Tess, Saskia and Aris carry the baggage of past losses and the uncertainty of their futures. And, in the most unlikely circumstances, they find qualities that span centuries: faith, acceptance, and love.
As part of the prize, Koens will be awarded a publishing contract from HarperCollins Publishers for Islands of Secrets.